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State of the Union

News/Business. Candy Crowley. (2012) Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA); Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ); Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT).

NETWORK
CNN

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01:00:00

RATING

SCANNED IN
San Francisco, CA, USA

SOURCE
Comcast Cable

TUNER
Virtual Ch. 759 (CNN HD)

VIDEO CODEC
mpeg2video

AUDIO CODEC
ac3

PIXEL WIDTH
1920

PIXEL HEIGHT
1080

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Us 14, Nasal 8, Fbi 7, America 6, Benghazi 5, George Bush 5, Cia 4, Harry Reid 3, Washington 3, Tylenol Bottle 2, Nasal Co 2, Heaven 2, Joe Lieberman 2, Smartphone 2, Hank Paulson 2, Nancy Pelosi 2, Laguardia 2, Crowley 2, Skal Ps 1, Reagan Administration 1,
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  CNN    State of the Union    News/Business. Candy Crowley.  (2012) Rep. Barney Frank  
   (D-MA); Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX); Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ);...  

    November 25, 2012
    9:00 - 10:00am PST  

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state of the union begins now. together, they served in congress a quarter century. he is the behind the scenes arms dealer, 26 years on capitol hill. >> this is not about the president, his agenda, how many skal ps on the wall in terms of legislative achievement. >> he is a trail blazer for gay rights, a lawmaker with an acid tongue, 32 years in the house. >> it is a tribute to the first amendment this kind of bio contemptible nonsense is freely propagated. >> she's the fourth woman elected to senate and first republican, 20 years in the senate. >> the first ones don't see their success, but what they do does prepare the way for the next generation or the next woman to move to the next level.
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>> and he for good or bad always goes his own way, 25 years in the senate. >> what, after all, is a democrat like me doing at a republican convention like this? >> at the end of his term, they're leaving for good voluntarily. >> i yield the floor. >> i yield the floor. >> i yield. >> i yield the floor. >> today farewell to congress with arizona senator john kyl, massachusetts congressman barney frank, senator kay bailey hutchison of texas, and the connecticut independent joe lieberman. i'm candy crowley, and this is "state of the union." 35 members of congress retired this year. ten in the senate. 25 in the house. the highest number of retirements since 1996. i sat down with four of the retirees at senate joe
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lieberman's hide-away office in the capitol to talk about what they'll miss, what they won't miss, the days they'll remember the most and what's still left to do before they go. let me start out. we are at the end of the year. we are looking at a situation where the country is about to go off the so-called fiscal cliff, and i wanted you to kind of look back and think did you ever believe that people -- that congress would get so entrenched in different sides that there was a possibility the country would go off the fiscal cliff? does it surprise you where we are? >> i mean, what shocks me is that we're actually $16 trillion in debt. i mean, we built up this incredible debt over a period of years. i never would have guessed that we would be in this position when we started out. >> you are all here for that? >> we're all guilty. we're all part of it. a couple of presidents contributed to. am i surprised we facing this fiscal cliff now?
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no, because we put it in. we created this cliff because we thought it will be so terrifying that congress would actually be shaken to reach a bipartisan agreement to reduce the debt. that's what our responsibility is and the time between now and the end of this year. >> i think congress is reflecting the nation. i think we are very divided. not in the goal, but how we get there, and i think america is too. i think that is reflected i think we now know that americans expect us to go forward, and we have no choice but to go forward. >> i think kay has made a very important point. one of the things that's troubled me about the analysis of congress is people act as if we're in a bubble and we just were self-generated. i mean, there are few people in this building that aren't here because they didn't get -- they should be doing self-criticism.
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it's exacerbated by one of the great inventions, creations of our humanity, which is the american constitution. at any given time america is governed by the results of three elections. that's our constitution. there are senators elected in 2006 who are here. there's a president elected in 2008 and then a house of representatives predominantly 2010, and occasionally the -- there have been few cases in american history where the public changed its mind so drastically between 2008 and 2010 so they put one group in power here and another group in power there, and there were legitimate differences. i hate it when people say we're bickering. we're debating the most fundamental issues, but we still have to make an effort to overcome it, but where it came from was the american constitution and the fact that there was on the part of the voters a very drastic swing in their opinion in that two-year period. >> i'm going to agree with barney on an important point here. there's nothing wrong with robust debate among different philosophical positions. in fact, you look at our jury system.
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the whole idea is you have a big contest between two sides and supposedly truth wins out in the end. it's the same thing with the debate in the house and the senate. you have this robust contest between the liberal and a conservative idea, and eventually something either wins out or some compromise pertains. so the notion that we should just compromise for the sake of compromising isn't necessarily the right result, and if there is a will, there is usually a way, and sometimes the pressure is so great that you absolutely have to, but i'll just close with this. i suspect that none of us at the time that we're coming to a close of our careers, pretty long careers in most cases here, are happy about the situation in which we find ourselves. >> yet, you're also zen about it. let me ask you. you know, this is like, oh, the fiscal cliff is coming, and, oh, my gosh, unemployment is going to skyrocket and the recession is going to come back. i'm wondering does it not -- does the heat not feel as intense here, because you're --
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>> the fact is that there is no decisionmaker. if there was a decision maker who is being complacent in the face of this, you should be very critical. the american constitution and the american people have put people into a shared power situation who have had very different views. now, one thing is different. maybe i'm being -- it does seem to me that in 2010 some people came to the congress who said compromise is a bad thing. i hope it's the result of the last election there's going to be less of that, and every one of us has to be prepared to vote for something we don't like. >> since we're talking about the constitution, i want to go back briefly to george washington who in his farewell address warned the future generations of americans against the danger of political factions to which members of our government would be more loyal than they were to the country.
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in other words, they had served their factions more than the common interest. >> i wish everybody would sign a pledge mefr to sign another pledge because that is one of the obstacles when you say this, and i have always avoided the pledges. i told people look, i agree with you 100%. i'm going to do everything i can for that, but i can't tell you in a given situation what the trade-offs will be, what the options will be, and i'm not signing a pledge. >> partisanship has gone to extreme here, but even more a word that's come up, the unwillingness to compromise, to approach every issue saying i will not vote for this unless i get 100% of what i want. in the end you get 0%. >> senator, 102 years, more than a century's worth of capitol hill experience sitting right here, so i figure you all are pretty good readers of the crystal ball up here. am i right in reading that you all think we're not going to go off this fiscal cliff? we will come up with something? >> yes. i believe we will come up with a way forward.
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do i think we're going to do everything by the end of this year, probably not, but i think we will not have a fiscal cliff. we will have a plan, hopefully, to go forward. we will have a blue present. we will set the stage for long-term. >> i think it's likely that there will be a solution that's not a final solution by any means. it's not a big solution. but will get us through the end of the year into next year with a plan for trying to deal with these issues long-term over the course of the next congress. that will require compromise. if i could just add one more element to that. this contest of ideas that we talked about, i think, is critical to come to the right decision. the contest between liberal and conservative ideas, and other ideas in between. what's harmful is the contest between partisan republicans and
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partisan democrats, and there's a difference between ideologies and pure politics because when politics intervenes, it creates gotcha situations, votes that can be used in 30-second commercials by one side or the other and results in gridlock, so i think what we need to try to find here is a way to have the debates about policy and get to the point of compromise when possible and do as much as we can to keep partisan politics out of the equation. >> partisanship, i believe, is very important if it's done right. you don't have democracy without parties. it's never been -- the problem i'm having is there are legitimate difference that is are debated. the problem is when those differences become so embittered that people can't compromise or come together. i think partisanship is an important part of it, and i want to say this in terms of this, now i'm going to be a little partisan. i became chairman of the financial services committee in 2007, and i immediately began to
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work with hank paulson, the republican senator of the treasury and ben bernanke, george bush's appointees, although some would like to forget that. we did some work with them, and in the last months of 2007 george bush went to nancy pelosi and harry reid and said i need a, guess what, stimulus. that terrible word. pelosi and reid worked with him to do that. then in 2008 they came to us. john, you and i worked together on the whole question to the response to the financial. i believe we had in 2007, 2008, this is not a longstanding problem. a great deal of cooperation in the bush administration. i do believe that there were elected some people in 2010, tea party influence, who repudiated the notion of compromise, and some have said it exclusively. i think partisanship, you have to start from a position of principle and then you work together. i think in 2007 and 2008 we showed how can you do that. >> candy, let me join in the general hopefulness that we're going to avoid the fiscal cliff, but it's not a done deal. it's not a certainty. the reason is the country -- the
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government is on automatic pilot to the fiscal cliff, to massive tax increases and really horrible spending cuts on january 1st unless we act, so if congress does nothing, which congress has gotten pretty good at doing these days, we'll go over the fiscal cliff, so there's work to be done and compromises to be reached. next, an interesting take on the fbi investigation that ensnared general david petraeus. >> i got to say, what surprises me is these people are still sending emails. there is no relief for the brakes. we'll put them to the test today. all right, let's move out! [ ross ] we're pushing the ats brakes to the limit. going as fast as we can down the hill. we are making these sharp turns, slamming on the brembo brakes. [ derek ] it's like instant response, incredibly consistent. this is the challenge, machine vs. mountain.
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we have the petraeus matter going on. while this works itself out and we find out what actually went on, is anyone disturbed by someone going to the fbi and saying, gee, i'm getting these really funky emails, would you look into it, and the fbi looks into the private emails of public people, but looks into the private emails and then it ends up toppling the head of the cia? >> cyber security is a huge problem. if someone is hacking into the
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director of the cia, you need to know that. general petraeus is director of the krooib, and others have questioned about his e-mail account. the fbi is going to look into that, and they're going to try to determine is something unauthorized happening here? now, they stumbled upon something totally different, but to your question, no, i don't feel badly if the fbi is going to make sure that director of the cia is not being hacked into in an unauthorized fashion. >> that wasn't the original question. they stumbled across t petraeus issue. when she complained there was no mention of petraeus. what surprises me is that these people are still sending emails. >> yeah. >> that goes to judgment. i am talking spectively. if these e-mails were really
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threatening, i'm not concerned that the fbi has the capacity to make a baseline judgment. is this a real problem that might do damage to this woman and therefore we ought to at least do a preliminary investigation? i mean, think more and more crimes that have been person to person traditionally are going to be committed over the internet. i'm glad the fbi has the capacity to investigate it. >> i'm very worried about this. i'm very worried. i want to know a whole lot more about what these first e-mails really were and did it really trigger an fbi investigation of the cia director at a low level and it wasn't raised to a higher level? i mean, if anybody is investigating the director of the cia, the president of the united states should know immediately, and i feel like a, we don't know enough, and, b, i have great concerns about a lot of this. >> maybe the way you said it, nobody was investigating the director of the cia.
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what they were inquiring into was whether or not somebody had unauthorized access or was taking advantage of access to -- >> it turned into an investigation of a private life of the cia director that then brings in another general and -- >> so that there could have been breaches of security, there could have been breaches of t director's private e-mail accounts or public e-mail accounts. >> but at what level were these decisions being made? i just think there needs to be a whole lot more. >> do you suggest there was some coverup, and the fbi are playing games? i'm troubled by the implication of your statement and are you suggesting that something wasn't legitimate here? that would trouble me. >> i'm suggesting that i have great concerns about the legitimacy. >> great concern is a wheeze -- weasel word.
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>> i don't think it's a weasel word. i -- >> i don't trust the fbi -- >> a general who is very high in our military and the cia director to all of a sudden have this kind of upheaval when it appears that the president didn't know until two months later. two months later to president -- >> the question is the fbi stumbled upon it. it seems to me frankly you're hinting at something bad, and i don't see what that could be. >> i'm hinting at something out of control and not with the proper authority. who are you accusing of not having done the right thing? >> i've always had great respect for him and great respect for him and general petraeus. >> i do too. >> i want to know what the sequence was and when top level people were making decisions about -- >> i'll tell you what troubles me. if this is an investigation into david petraeus' bank account instead of his sex life all of us would be paying a lot less attention to it. i'm troubled by the periods of some of this and the prominence
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of getting his privacy doesn't totally disappear. >> let me move you on. do you have a single big question about what went on in benghazi or what happened in the aftermath that you think must be answered. >> i think there are three questions that have to be answered. why weren't the warnings about the need for heeded. why weren't the requests for help during the terrorist attack answered? why did the administration think it had to cover up all the things that occurred before by putting out to the american people a narrative i think will turn out to be absolutely false? >> congressman, do you have the same similar concerns? >> i think there's been shortly after i got into congress 280 marines were killed in lebanon on ronald reagan's watch, and he said when you are fixing up -- there were delays in the construction. bad people do terrible things to americans. i don't like it when that
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becomes a source of political dispute, and i had nothing critical to say about the reagan administration. i think things will happen. there are -- americans are exposed all over the world because we have decided to be proactive in that way, and it's hard to protect everything. given that, yes, i would -- as to the narrative, you have to talk about saying this was a terrorist attack, that was pretty soon abandoned. saying that that movie -- i don't think there was a prolonged attempt there. there was something called the fog of war, the confusion, but, yes, i would like us to know what happened so that we can maybe take better account of defending it in the future. >> there are three different kinds of questions about benghazi. what happened before the attack? what happened during the attack? what was said and decided after the attack? the most important one to me is as the homeland security security meets about this, what happened before the attack? the painful question is why
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didn't we provide more security for our mission in benghazi. if we couldn't do it, maybe we should have closed the mission and taken the people to tripoli where they were more safe. the other thing we'll focus on is i think the defense department, for instance, tried to immediately to get help to our personnel on the ground in benghazi, but help was far away. it raises a question about whether the african command of the u.s. military ought to have more assets and personnel nearby on the ground. the third part about what happened afterwards is obviously a real concern. i think particularly in fairness to ambassador rice, there ought to be the widest public airing of what led to her statements and others in the administration particularly obviously if she's going to be nominated for secretary of state or some other high office. >> but that's not an automatic
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no for you if she were to be nominated for secretary of state >> no, because, first of all, i think she's had a distinguished career up until now, but secondly, i don't know -- i don't feel that i know exactly what she was told before she went on tv that sunday morning, and i think we ought to find out before we decide on whether she's a good or bad public servant. >> senator kyl used the term coverup, correct, in terms of, like, afterwards saying, well, this all had to do with this videotape and it had to do with this, so there was a riot, turns out. there was no riot. it wasn't about the videotape. that was going in cairo. do you worry there's been a coverup? >> i am very concerned about the fact that on september 11th this happened, and on september 20th the senate was given a classified briefing, and they were still, the top level people, were still telling us the same thing. they were telling us things that
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we even saw in the press were not correct information. now, benghazi was a consulate. it wasn't a full embassy. i think if we have learned one thing, it is that maybe we should close consulates and give the full protection to our ambassadors who are willing to risk this kind of upheaval, so i do think we need to go into this in depth. i think if there were military people trying to get in and they were being told no, no, no repeatedly, we need to fix that. >> when we return, congressional gridlock. >> in my opinion, the last two years, 2011 to 2012, have been the least productive and most partisan and uncompromising in my 24 years here. [ nyquil bottle ] you know i relieve coughs, sneezing, fevers...
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senators rarely take each other as role models, there's not a lot of love lost between the trenches. >> one of the questions i get all the time when i give speeches, what is wrong with those people? i think we discussed it a little bit when we were talking about fiscal cliff, meaning congress. why can't they ever do anything? i wanted to ask you all -- >> i thought you meant the
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voters who sent us here. they're the ones who voted. >> the voters who sent you often ask me why can't they get anything done? my question to you is does it seem worse to you now, and what do you consider the good old days? >> well, i think there are a couple of things that have contributed to the gridlock that we have now and the overpartisanship. for one thing, the media now have a lot of time to fill. 24-7, cable tv, talk radio. they like to follow exciting things. since most of it is political, they want to follow the contest, the fight, the scandal, and that's point number one. right after an election, the mechanics election begins. i won't say it's the good old days, but when i first came to congress, there was about a year after the election in which you legislated. you got together and passed laws and the president signed them and so on. then by about march or april of the election year things started
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to get pretty partisan and for the remainder of the year it was hard to get things done that weren't pretty non-partisan because both sides were trying to hold the other in a political way to some kind of disadvantage. we've now taken that to almost beginning the week after the election for a total period of two years. so both parties are trying to set the other party up to make political mistakes and be criticized politically. media plays along with it because it makes good news. i don't know what the answer to that is he but i think that's part of the reason why it's been much more difficult for congress to get things accomplished. >> do you remember good old days? >> i'll give you two good old days, 2007, 2008 because i disagree with this. tell the voters if you don't like these people, why did you vote for them? this effort to analyze this out of the context of the democracy, in part i agree with john. the way our media is configured the most activist elements on the left and on the right are parallel echo chambers.
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they only listen to and hear from people who agree with them, whether it's on the internet or on the talk radio. i want to go back. this is not like bipartisanship never existed. in 2007 the democrats took over the house and the senate, and i will tell you there was a great deal of cooperation with george bush. i was part of it. hank paulson asked me to write the preface to his book about the crisis. harry reid and nancy pelosi worked with george bush on a stimulus, and what happened then was, frankly, i think when barack obama got elected, he did not get from the republicans the degree of cooperation we gave. when mitch mcconnell said my number one agenda item is to defeat this president, harry reid didn't si that when george bush came to him with the stimulus. i do not find this playing on both the houses appropriate. >> he did call him a liar and -- pretty bitter times in there as well. >> but he also worked with him to get a stimulus, worked with him to pass the tarp when he asked us to, worked with them -- the whole period of 2007 and
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2008 there was a great deal of cooperation on areas that i'm familiar with. >> do you remember good old days? >> i do remember good old days. just to put it in context, let's say, when i arrived in 1989 from connecticut, where we have politics. i was surprised at how partisan congress was. i saw it in some foreign policy questions where i didn't expect to find it, and i would say over the years congress has become more partisan. the last two years probably the most partisan and the least productive. throughout all that, a lot of great moments. first president bush, 41, they convened a group, worked for weeks, passed amendments to clean air act, not only cleaned up the air, allowed people to live longer. during the '90s a lot was done
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under president clinton, welfare reform, anti-crime bill, and most significantly when we looked back at the balanced budget amendment. the same was true during the bush years. very partisan conflict. no child left behind passed, and though a lot of people have voted with somehow forgot they voted for it. the administration's first round of response to the fiscal collapse was broadly supported because it was absolutely necessary. >> more by democrats than republicans. >> more by democrats than republicans. in my opinion the last two years, 2011, 2012, have been the least productive and most partisan and uncompromising in my 24 years here. the public seemed outraged at the status quo that produced so it is, and, yet, what results from the election? >> status quo. >> democratic president, democratic senate, republican house. i mean, if anything is going to get done, we got to change our behavior. i think the president really has the authority now to set the tone and cajole, convince,
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charm, occasionally coerce people from both parties to sit down at the table and work out our problems. >> and after the break, the delicate balance between doing the job and working with constituents. >> he said hey, kid, ain't you heard the notice? everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. listerine® cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine®... power to your mouth™. i am probably going to the gas station about once a month. last time i was at a gas station was about...i would say... two months ago. i very rarely put gas in my chevy volt. i go to the gas station such a small amount that i forget how to put gas in my car. [ male announcer ] and it's not just these owners giving the volt high praise. volt received the j.d. power and associates appeal award two years in a row. ♪
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get the advanced technology of adt and save $300. starting at $99 installed. pulse save on accessories. call now or visit adtpulse.com/tv. sale ends midnight november 27th. back to candy and her guests in a moment. i'm dana bash with a check of today's headlines. protesters and security forces clashed again today in tahrir square as resentment grows over what protesters say is a power grab by egyptian president mohammed morsi. he announced courts can't overtake any law he put in since june. they called for a sit in in the square. the muslim brotherhood says they will have nationwide demonstrations in support of his plans. it is sunday, thanksgiving weekend.
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usually the busiest travel day of the year, at least one of the millions that head home for the holiday. susan candiotti at laguardia in new york. susan i was there yesterday on the way home, it was pretty quiet. doesn't look that way today. >> reporter: it doesn't. remarkably, system wide air travel has been pretty calm today, here at laguardia, haven't had lines at the check in or security. you can see behind me there's virtually no line at all. that might have something to do with the fact that we've had nice weather all weekend long nationwide. of course, things could pick up as the day goes on as people try to stretch their thanksgiving holiday weekend. not much delay for now. still they recommend you get to the airport about an hour and a half ahead of time, just in case. tsa reminds you about the little things such as if bringing back
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any leftovers from thanksgiving, no gravy, but it is okay to take a turkey leg. dana, back to you. >> great advice. and lotto fever. lottery officials say there was no winner last night's powerball drawing, pushing wednesday's jackpot to about $425 million. that's the largest jackpot ever for the game. when we return, disregard for congress, probably as traditional as pumpkin by. >> you know, it is an american tradition, a healthy one, to not think too well of congress. consider the silverado 1500 -- still the most dependable, longest-lasting full-size pickups on the road. and now we've also been recognized for lowest total cost of ownership -- based on important things, like depreciation, fuel, and maintenance costs. and now trade up to get a 2012 chevy silverado all-star edition with a total value of $9,000.
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>> i think we would have to be ostriches with our heads in the sand if we're not worried. we need to look at ourselves thoroughly inside out and anyone who is whistling past the graveyard saying we need to keep doing what we're doing we're right, by god, you're wrong. >> when you see that congress'
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approval rating is at 12% or 10% or the lowest it's ever been, is that hurtful to you all, do you say, wait a second, i'm up here trying to get stuff done. how do you take that? >> it's not a personal hurt because i feel like i know i'm doing a good job and i know my constituents know it. it is a disappointment that people would say that in a poll because they're mad about something, and i agree with you in that i think people do like individually the people they're electing. but they don't like what they see in the whole, which is gridlock, but that's because america itself is also gridlocked. >> people themselves are internally gridlocked. we hear from people cut the deficit, expand medicare. we get a very inconsistent set of messages from them. no, i don't feel guilty at all,
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and i don't feel badly. i think -- i find there's a great commitment to solving the problem, but it gets to the specifics. i was in city hall in boston 44 years ago complaining about people who wanted a swimming pool in a neighborhood and they complaining because the dump trucks were coming in and out digging out the swimming pool and it was bothering them, and i complained to an old city councilman. he said, hey, kid, ain't you heard the news? everybody wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. i think that's what i get from too many of constituents. they want us to cut the deficit, but don't raise my taxes and don't cut this and don't cut that and expand this and expand that. we do our best, and i'm not troubled by our inability to do what some of the them want us to do, which is impossible. >> i'm a little troubled sometimes by the thoughtlessness of some people who are quick to criticize anybody without differentiating between those
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who are trying to do their best, but it's hard to argue with american people generally when they look to washington and see the mess that we're in right now. it is also true, as everyone here has said, that so manto se extent that reflects the will of the american people who want it both ways, but we work for the american people, and they're not devoting their full lives to soling these problems like we are. we are supposed to be better than we are. to that extent they have a good complaint. >> you know, it's an american tradition, or a healthy one, to not think too well of congress. the public attitude towards congress in the last couple of years has really been historically low. that does make me feel bad because i think the public is right to have an unfavorable view of what's happening here because we're not getting our work done. we're not getting the work done that they sent us here to do. what's fascinating about this recent national election is that
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it looked like for the first time at least in a long time the public would not only be unhappy with congress as an institution, but would actually take it out on their senators and representatives, and by and large, that didn't happen. in couple -- incumbents were re-elected, but i tell you, i hope after the next two years that more people than 9% or 10% will have a favorable view of the united states congress. >> we'll watch and make sure they do it right. >> yes. >> when we return, their most memorable days and not necessarily the best ones. >> those are days seared in my memory and everyone else who is up here. aches, fevers. and i relieve nasal congestion. overachiever. [ female announcer ] tylenol® cold multi-symptom nighttime relieves nasal congestion. nyquil® cold and flu doesn't. can i still ship a gift in time for christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh... whew.
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let me try to do in the final moments some superlatives. i want you to recall your days. >> a lot of days. days that weren't good. most memorable day, september 11, 2001, and several days thereafter. those are days seered in my memory and those up here. very close to the room we're in right now is where i had to hang out during the anthrax scare up here where we all had to move out of our offices in the hart building and locate in the cubbyhole here in the capitol. those aren't good memories but nevertheless they were important events in our history. >> worst and best.
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>> it was after we repealed in t lame-duck session of 2010, don't ask, don't tell. when a terribly unfair libelous judgment on me and millions of people like me was abolished, i think it's worked out well. i worked hard on that. joe's worked hard on it in the senate. the day that passed in the house was a very good day for me. >> well, interesting, i've been saying to people before that that probably the most thrilling moment i had was when don't ask, don't tell got repealed. i had the privilege of doing a bunch of other things. maybe the most satisfying accomplishment was after 911 legislation, and we reformed, we created the department, reformed the intelligence community. >> well, the excitement of winning something that you fought for is what you're hearing, and mine is that i thought that we were going to lose our american focus on space exploration, manned space exploration, and i teamed up
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with senator bill nelson from florida, and we crafted a compromise that allowed commercial crew vehicles to go forward but not at the expense of the next generation of space flight. and you saw an excitement in space. >> touchdown, confirmed. we're safe on mars! >> for the first time in years when that rover landed on mars at precisely the place it was supposed to land after being in the air for six months and i thought, yes, we've done something that is really important in the big sense. >> what will you most miss. let's say you like many of your colleagues and you'll miss them, but what about the place will you miss? >> the chance to affect public policy in ways that are important to me. that's the reason i do this. i think that's the reason all of us do it. also i think the public vastly underestimates the legitimacy of the motives of the people who are here.
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>> that's correct. >> and the major motivating factor is what we think is right. i have some strong views about how to make this country, which is both fairer and at the same time productive and efficient, and i will miss the chance to wake up and hear something and say, geez, i've got to do something about that. >> precisely the same. i mean that's why most people are here, liberal, conservative. we're here for the same basic reason, and one of the things that -- well, the thing i'll miss the most is having to walk away from a position to have the kind of influence you have with the united states congress on things that mean a lot to you. >> it is its effectiveness in the mackerel sense. when i was a practicing lawyer after i had served in the state legislature for several years and i was negotiating on whether a comma went in this place or that place and i thought, you know, i'd rather be talking about mass transit. i'd rather be doing something that i thought would have a big impact and make a difference. and it is why we're here, and it
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is what we'll miss because i'm going go back to doing commas and paragraphs and it won't be the same. but i also love the people so much. i mean i love my colleagues. i love the camaraderie. there's a sense that we understand the pressure that we have. our constituents, the outside groups, the time management pressures. and having other people with the same circumstances is fun and it's invigorating. >> senator lieberman? >> a lot of good friendships here. so just allow for that. it's part of what i'll miss. the other part is to see a problem, think about how you can help to might better, submit legislation, usually finding a
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co-sponsor from the other party because that's the only way we get anything passed here, and working it through the process and actually getting it done. i have to tell you, bottom line, i've been blessed with an opportunity. but you know what? it's time for me to move on and for somebody else to be a senator from connecticut. >> some of the most satisfying things, to get people to -- harry truman said being president meant getting people to do what they would have done in the first place if they had the brains to do it. >> their post retirement plans next. >> being able to say i'm coming home on friday and know i'm really coming home on friday. they have teachers... ...with a deeper knowledge of their subjects. as a result, their students achieve at a higher level. let's develop more stars in education.
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some people have said if i ran for re-election, it would be a difficult campaign for me. so what else is new? >> one of the advantages for me not running for office, i don't have to pretend to be nice to people i don't like. >> as a final question, complete this question. after i retire, i am most looking forward to -- >> having more time to go chop wood up at my cabin. >> are you going to go chop
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wood at his cobb -- cabin? >> no. i'm going to -- i got married late in life and it's something i plan to work at full time. >> i'm looking forward to controlling my own schedule, to being able to say, i'm coming home on friday and know i'm really coming home on friday. >> i'm looking forward to, if i can say two things, to doing something different. >> there are some people who might actually call al's selection of me an act of hutzpah. >> i mean change is very healthy in life and to spending a little more time with my family. >> thank you so much. we'll see you again down the road. >> is that it? does everyone clap for us? >> i'm the only clap. thanks for watching "state of the union." i'm candy crowley in washington. head to cnm/